Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Best Ways to Present and Reinforce Rules

Helping your child, who has been diagnosed with autism, understand rules and expectations is a priority. How rules are developed, posted and reviewed is very important to a child on the spectrum. Every environment has its own set of rules to follow which should be clear to your child, so no matter where they are, they know what is expected of them.

Here are some tips on how to make sure your child knows and understands the rules at home, in school, and in the community.

  1. If you are at home or at school, make sure rules are posted in common areas, and at the child’s eye level. This provides a visual aid for your child, on the spectrum, to refer to when they forget or need to review a rule. For the classroom it is also good to send your child to school with a list of the classroom rules to keep at their desk in case they need to review them quietly on their own.
  2. Make sure your child, who has been diagnosed with autism, understands the words being used to describe the rules. To aid them in this, pair words with images (drawings, photos etc.) so they can refer to the image as well as the words.
  3. Review rules on a regular basis. Start by reviewing them daily. When your child on the spectrum can repeat, and seems to understand all the rules, find times to test their knowledge once or twice a week to refresh their memory.
  4. When addressing the rules outside your home or outside the classroom prepare on the go visual aids, create stories or role play situations that can arise in the community, and how to best handle, or react to each situation when in public. Then practice these scenarios until your child, who has been diagnosed with autism, feel comfortable in social situations outside of home and school.

Creating, understanding and following rules are an important part of a child’s daily routine. It is important for parents and teachers to work together to create rules in order to keep your child safe and to make sure things run smoothly at home and at school. By working together, you create a succinct working environment that gives your child, on the spectrum, consistency, comfort, and complete understanding of what is expected of them.

Strategies for Making New Friends

There are many ways to build long lasting friendships. Your child can make lifelong friends at school, on a team, or through family friends. Teaching your child, who has been diagnosed with autism, the proper skills to make and keep friends is a very important part of their development.

Here are some strategies that Beautiful Minds Center recommends for developing friendships.

  1. Create a situation where kids have to participate in an activity together. They can be group activities or collaborations where teams of two have to work together towards a common goal. The best way to pair children on the spectrum is through shared interests. Depending on their skill sets, age, and abilities, you can give children more or less structured activities.
  2. If your child, who has been diagnosed with autism, has a hard time communicating with others, you might want to discuss and outlines social skills clearly. Techniques like role play and discussions about meeting new people, having a conversation, sharing, and being a good sport, can help your child on the spectrum learn aspects of social skills that they may normally overlook.
  3. Talking to your child’s teacher and working together can help bridge a gap between home and school. It is important to promote friendships at school, so that your child looks forward to each day away from home. Work with your child to create stories about their classroom friends and encourage them to participate in activists with their friends outside of school as well. Ask your child’s classroom teacher to give you updates on their day at school. Talk to your child about the events that took place and how they felt, what they liked about participating in activities with friends, and what they didn’t like. Then continue to work with them to improve social skills by using real life examples that they can relate to.
  4. Always remember not to pressure your child on the spectrum into friendships. Teaching children the basics of being a good friend is important. Sometimes your child will develop a close friendship with one or more of their peers, and sometimes they won’t. All you can do, as a parent, is encourage your child, who has been diagnosed with autism, to share with others, say kind things, and be good to their classmates & teammates. Try to pay close attention to their interests and get them involved in activities where they share common interests with others.

Making new friends isn’t easy for many people, let alone a child on the spectrum that has difficulty with social skills and communication. Beautiful Minds Center encourages parents to take it one step at a time and remember to always support each new step that your child on the spectrum takes toward building new relationships. Do what you can to find new ways to help your child, who has been diagnosed with autism, overcome obstacles that stand in the way of their happiness.